In 2019, roughly 5% of K-12 students used some form of online learning. That’s compared to nearly 93% of families that used online learning at the height of the pandemic. Even though the digital classroom is something most of us have experienced at this point, not everyone has had the same experience. As a result, there are still so many misconceptions about it.
Serving as a learning coach for my son has really opened my eyes to everything online school has to offer. If you’re thinking about making the switch, here are three things to consider:
1. Online School Helps Advanced Learners Succeed
For the past two years, I have had the pleasure of coaching my son, Peter, through online school. Unfortunately, our local brick-and-mortar school did not offer programs or services for accelerated learners like Peter. So my family and I decided to give Virginia Virtual Academy a try because we wanted to ensure he’d have appropriately challenging curriculum and extra support.
From Day One, the school’s teachers and staff have been so warm and welcoming. They also give us the option to advance his coursework beyond his current grade level. From the start, we knew we found the right option for Peter.
2. Flexibility is a Key Ingredient
For many online school students and their families, having a personalized, flexible school schedule fosters continued success. For example, my son isn’t a big fan of book work or standard lectures. Rather, he learns best by getting out in the world and exploring different museums and local parks. His flexible schedule allows us to do just that.
Every day, Peter completes his classes and coursework by lunchtime. The afternoon is his time to decide what he wants to do, and just be a kid; it’s a good balance. So, if your student prefers to do math all day on Mondays, or wants to do something science-related four times a week, that’s possible with online school.
3. Parents Can Be More Involved in Their Student’s Academic Journey
Since my son completes all his schoolwork at home, I can monitor his progress and ensure he’s getting lessons that are best suited to him and his learning style. I am much more involved in his education than I’ve ever been before, and I am more confident that his teachers are providing him with the best resources for his unique learning needs.
I know many families are apprehensive about online school, but if you’re on the fence my advice is: just try it. See how it works and see if your student gets excited about learning. At the end of the day, as parents, we have an obligation to help our kids grow up to be the best people they can be. The online classroom could be a part of that journey for you like it’s been for me.
Samantha Young is a mom and learning coach for a student who attends Virginia Virtual Academy. National School Choice Week 2022 is from January 23 - January 29, 2022.
To learn more about Virginia Virtual Academy, make sure to visit https://vava.k12.com